Hideous Online Sexual Violence Against Muslim Women

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) expresses solidarity with the Muslim women who have been targeted in a recent fake online auction site ‘Bulli Bai’ and put up ‘for sale’ to the highest bidder. Over a hundred Muslim women, mostly activists, journalists, and lawyers, have been targeted in the most revolting manner. Among them are an activist and a journalist from Hyderabad. This is organised pursuing by right-wing trolls of outspoken Muslim women, centered on their gender and religion, to silence them.

The app was hosted on the GitHub platform and was taken down by the perpetrators only after social media outrage. It is pertinent to recall that a similar app, ‘Sulli Deals,’ surfaced last July and was taken down only after several weeks. Despite FIRs being lodged, the police failed to act against the culprits on that occasion. The offenders of this virtual bullying and violent misogyny are clearly bolstered by the impunity that the ruling establishment at the Centre affords them.

The title of the apps themselves are intended as a disparaging reference to Muslim women. We believe the purpose of this hideous online sexual violence is to humiliate, intimidate and badger the women into silence. These virtual auctions reflect how our digital ecosystem reeks of Islamophobia, denigration of Muslim women and plain bigotry. The level of depravity is truly shocking.

HRF calls upon authorities concerned to diligently and expeditiously pursue investigation against the purveyors of these degenerate hate crimes and ensure that they are prosecuted. HRF also calls upon digital spaces such as GitHub to ensure that their platforms are not used for targeted harassment.

VS Krishna 
(HRF Coordination Committee member
TS & AP)

S. Jeevan Kumar
(HRF Coordination Committee member
TS & AP)


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